In the Leduc Woodbend area of Alberta, the Company produces medium-light crude from a Glauconitic sandstone oil pool under waterflood with average annual declines of approximately 9% over the last 3 years. The Company secured operatorship of the property in 2012 and drilled 4 gross (1.6 net) infill wells that increased net production to record levels from 380 boe/d to over 650 boe/d late in the year after selling 219 boe/d of production from the property early in 2012 for approximately $19.5 million. Payout on the 2012 program is anticipated to be approximately 3 to 4 months. Three to four (1.2 to 1.6 net) additional vertical development wells and increased water injection are planned for 2013.
A 100% W.I. exploration horizontal well targeting shallow Triassic oil is also planned for 2013 at Mulligan in the Peace River Arch area of Alberta. The Company has over 55 net sections of land in the oil window for the Triassic and has current net production of approximately 350 to 400 boe/d (24% liquids).
To help offset commodity price risk, the Company has acquired a floor of $3.00/GJ for natural gas prices through put options on 6,000 GJ/D (April to October) by selling call options on 600 bpd of crude oil production for the same time period at an average call price of $101.37 CDN WTI per bbl. Artek maintains financial flexibility and a strong balance sheet with a $65 million operating line of credit plus a $10 million development line for total lines of $75 million as compared to Artek's 2012 estimated exit net debt of $50 million.
The Company currently has three rigs running. Two rigs are drilling in the Inga area where the Company expects to have drilled four horizontal wells including three Doig wells and one Montney exploration well prior to breakup. The first exploration horizontal well at Inga has reached total depth and the second horizontal well is near total depth. Both of these wells are anticipated to be completed in mid to late February. The third rig is drilling the first of three planned vertical wells targeting Glauconitic oil in the Leduc Woodbend area during the first quarter.
Artek's forecast and guidance are best estimates based on certain assumptions including operating results and commodity prices and will regularly be monitored by management and the Board. The Company's aim is to proactively manage our capital program in concert with operational results and fluctuating commodity prices with a goal to maintain financial flexibility and achieve growth targets.
Forward Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements. Management's assessment of future plans and operations and the timing thereof, future results from operations, production estimates including 2013 average and exit production, commodity mix, initial production rates, estimated payout of wells, the Company's 2013 capital expenditure plans including the number and locations of wells to be drilled, productive capacity of new wells, including the potential of the Company's Montney rights, financial capacity to carry out its planned 2013 capital program, commodity price forecasts and the Company's estimated net debt and 2013 cash flow may constitute forward-looking statements under applicable securities laws and necessarily involve risks including, without limitation, risks associated with oil and gas exploration, development, exploitation, production, marketing and transportation, loss of markets, volatility of commodity prices, currency fluctuations, imprecision of reserve estimates, environmental risks, competition from other producers, inability to retain drilling rigs and other services, incorrect assessment of the value of acquisitions, failure to realize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions, the inability to fully realize the benefits of the acquisitions, delays resulting from or inability to obtain required regulatory approvals and ability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources. As a consequence, the Company's actual results may differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward looking statements. Forward looking statements or information are based on a number of factors and assumptions which have been used to develop such statements and information but which may prove to be incorrect. Although Artek believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements or information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward looking statements because the Company can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct.
In addition to other factors and assumptions which may be identified in this document and other documents filed by the Company, assumptions have been made regarding, among other things: the impact of increasing competition; the general stability of the economic and political environment in which Artek operates; the ability of the Company to obtain qualified staff, equipment and services in a timely and cost efficient manner; drilling results; the ability of the operator of the projects which the Company has an interest in to operate the field in a safe, efficient and effective manner; Artek's ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms; field production rates and decline rates; the ability to replace and expand oil and natural gas reserves through acquisition, development or exploration; the timing and costs of pipeline, storage and facility construction and expansion; the ability of the Company to secure adequate product transportation; future oil and natural gas prices; currency, exchange and interest rates; the regulatory framework regarding royalties, taxes and environmental matters in the jurisdictions in which the Company operates; and Artek's ability to successfully market its oil and natural gas products. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. Additional information on these and other factors that could affect the Company's operations and financial results are included in reports on file with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and may be accessed through the SEDAR website (www.sedar.com) or at the Company's website (www.artekexploration.com). Furthermore, the forward looking statements contained in this document are made as at the date of this document and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the included forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable securities laws.
BOE Conversions: Barrel of oil equivalent ("BOE") amounts may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A BOE conversion ratio has been calculated using a conversion rate of six thousand cubic feet of natural gas to one barrel. This conversion ratio of six thousand cubic feet of natural gas to one barrel is based on an energy equivalent conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. Given that the value ratio based on the current price of crude oil as compared to natural gas is significantly different from the energy equivalency of 6:1, utilizing a conversion ratio on a 6:1 basis may be misleading as an indication of value.
Artek is a crude oil and natural gas exploration, development and production company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Artek's shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "RTK".
Artek Exploration Ltd.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Artek Exploration Ltd.
Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer
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